A survey (you know, those things that are always totally accurate) recently revealed that of 500 young adults polled, 33% of them were in favor of breaking up with someone via Facebook, email or text. Oh the humanity! Or should I say, rise of the emotionless machines!
It comes as no surprise that with the never-ending influx of gadgetry and tech-nerd advancements you can connect faster with people you loathe and flirt on-line with gross mouth-breathers. You can 'unfriend' and block people or you can find out exactly when and where they're doing their laundry thanks to FourSquare. There are so many ways to slam and slight people or creep them out by engaging in light stalking (which is viewed as harmless because its on-line).
But the absolute worst new habit we seem to have picked up in the digital age is the trend of being completely ball-less (yes ladies, you too) and soulless when it comes to ending a relationship appropriately and memorably. I was born in a bygone era known as "The late 70s" and had to wade through the murky waters of my teen and young adult life without the aid of an OkStupid profile. Folks, breakin' up is hard to do but there is a level of civility and creativity that comes with ending a relationship. We put a lot of effort into it in my day. It was a call of duty and we rose to the occasion.
You see, dumping someone makes you look like an a-hole no matter what. But you don't want to run the risk of being a cowardly a-hole who puts little to no effort into this hallmark event. Telling someone to hit the bricks on their birthday is totally acceptable if you do it in person. Sure, you're the jerk who gave them a present and then forever tarnished their 24th birthday by breaking up with them in the parking lot of Olive Garden immediately after. But you did the right thing and showed up to tell them to their face that you think they stink. Literally, they smelled bad and needed to know so that hopefully by their next birthday they can proudly say that they tackled some hygiene issues. If you just leave a lame, 140 character notification that they're being dumped, how can they get better? Breaking up is an opportunity for growth.
And let's not forget that when you dump someone you want to leave a major imprint on their psyche. Being a wuss and posting "we're through" on their wall is highly forgettable and face it, we all want to be remembered for something.
Going for a stroll through the park on a perfect autumn day and stumbling upon a quiet little cemetery is a memorable and gorgeous way to stomp on someones heart. You can sit on a crumbling headstone and hold them while they cry as dying leaves flutter to the ground all around you. They're not going to forget that anytime soon and in the future you just might make it onto some kind of "Top 5 Break Ups" list. Breaking up really is a "it's not you, it's me" opportunity to shine.
While Facebook shows no sign of stopping and has altered the way we connect with one another, I can't urge today's youth enough to keep break-ups a special, interpersonal, face-to-face method of obliterating someones self worth.